Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story from days gone by. Not too close though -- you all look germy.

Once upon a time in the Kingdom known as Dairyland, there was a High School. It was not really high, as it was on a rather flat piece of land, and it was hardly a school, considering that I got my diploma from it after barely attending for three years, instead playing guitar and/or smoking around the perimeter of learning. But still, the High School stood, drawing in children from far and wide, from the smelly pig farms to the stately lake homes. They came by yellow schoolbus and Transmaro and 10-speed bike and their mom's puce-colored '77 Ford Granada. They came to wander the halls in packs of ski-jacketed girls with long middle-parted hair, boys with Packers jerseys and winged hair, and teachers that often were better suited for a Dead concert, the Land of Misfit Toys, or Hitler's Gestapo.

One such teacher that best fit the latter category we shall rename "Miss X." Miss X was Miss X for a reason -- her gender was at best non-specific, a "Pat" before there was a "Pat." She was trollish: abnormally short and squat with a dark brown bowl hair cut and heavy plastic glasses. A troll, or perhaps some kind of fat horrible beetle or tropical slug or oil drum. Of course, Miss X had the teaching job most suited to her physique. She was the High School Girls' Gym Teacher. Clearly a role model for all young ladies in their quest for fitness.

Miss X had the charming manner of a wolverine, or since this story takes place in Dairyland, perhaps a badger. You may not know the temperament of either animal but I will assure you that they are surly, unpleasant, and smelly. She ruled over the High School Girls with bitter authority, mocking their efforts at each and every sport they were required to participate in or risk academic failure. If Miss X had tried herself to hit a softball, she surely would have tipped and rolled, much like a Weeble that had been painted in Ugly.

Worse than the foul morale Miss X brought to the High School playing fields, was her behavior in the Girls' Locker Room. Children, you may not remember these days, but back in the olden times before pedophiles or crushing school district lawsuits, all students over 12 years of age were required to strip fully naked after gym class and shower amongst their peers. Do not widen your eyes so! I speak the truth! Yes, whether you were tall and thin, short and fat, zitty or pretty, or in any stage of pubertal bloom, you had to leave both your privacy and dignity in your gym locker or again, risk the dreaded gym "F," meaning you could not graduate and forever leave High School. Fear of never leaving is a strong motivator.

Miss X enjoyed girls' shower time most of all it seemed, according to the evil grin she sported in the locker room. On her watch, there would be no strip-dash under the water-wet your hair-dash out, the preferred move to try to become Not Naked as soon as possible. No, Miss X was having none of that. All the girls were to remove their clothes, stand in a line to wait, while Miss X stood at the entry to the large shower area and let in five girls at a time. She would watch the girls in the shower the entire time, and yell at them to use more soap. Mortified by this, the girls would finish, then as they were ready to leave the shower Miss X stood by the stack of white towels, smiling. She would extend her midget arm out with a towel to a shivering embarrassed girl, then snap the towel back with a laugh, keeping on with this until she was sure the young lady was cold, furious, and humiliated.

The only small way out of this nightmare was to have your period, and then you only had to strip down halfway and sponge off at the sink while Miss X screamed at you to use more soap.

It is widely said in Dairyland that many complaints were raised over the years about Miss X, but no action was taken to remove her from the High School. A few of the girls changed schools because of the antics of Miss X, and a few left school altogether. Your humble storyteller had the foresight to obtain a fully-legal-but-utterly-medically-bogus gym excuse, because I am smarter than the average wolverine or badger.

A year after I was pushed out of High School with my scroll in hand, the beauty of karma was revealed to me in the form of a local news item I happened to read: Miss X, riding her moped to school one morning and no doubt stressing the small vehicle's tires, collided with another vehicle, and she was permanently transferred to the Girls' Locker Room in the sky, which I hope was solely populated by 6', 250-lb. incorrigible female gang members.

The moral of this story is: HA HA!

Now run along.